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Thread: Lens for motor racing

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    Lens for motor racing

    70-200/2.8 or 70-300 f whatever?

    Initially I thought f2.8, but all the sample pics I"ve found are at f8+.
    It's daytime so speeds should be fine with either.
    Tips also recommend 300-600mm, so that seems to point to the 70-300 which is also lighter.

    Otoh 2.8 may be good for pit shots etc

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    something with fast focus too. Which you generally get with things like 70-200 f2.8
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    I haven't tested but would a 70-200 and 70-300 vary much in the AF bit? It would be incremental anyway.
    Also, tips are saying to prefocus on a spot, suggesting that no AF is fast enough to 3D track?

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    I would say that the 70-200 is much faster AF than a 70-300 (I can only base this on how fast I know the 70-200 is compared to a 70-300 I tried a couple of years ago), you can always add a 1.4 TC onto it anyhow.

    Most motorsport shots are panning, so, you focus on the driver's head or whatever you want in focus and track that.

    If youre doing a rally and there's a car jump then yes, manual preselect focus is appropriate (the problem being what if the car veers off into the bush - youll miss the shot)
    Darren
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    If you are talking Nikon, then I have both.

    The 70-200/2.8 doesn't focus that much faster than the AF-S 70-300VR if at all in daylight where you will probably be shooting these events. One big difference on my example of the 70-300VR (not sure if they are all similar) is that on both my D3 and D700 the micro focus really hunts when zoomed right in to 300mm.
    If I back it out 20-30mm it will lock focus fast and accurately. When you couple the 70-200/2.8 to the TC14EII, I would say it focuses slower than the 70-300VR in good daylight, and the caveat about focus hunting aside. If you look at buying a 70-300VR just make sure you take your body and mount the lens and test it at 300mm for speed of lock and if it stays locked on when holding dead steady, mine will hunt a bit even on a tripod, and as I haven't mounted it in almost 2 years (it is by far my least used lens) I never bothered to send it to Nikon for checking.

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    70-200 2.8, perfect for motorsports. Even on a track you will need quick AF. Especially if you are panning and zooming out at the same time.

    If you want to get the best shots you will be continously refocussing, panning etc, cars don't stay in one place very long.

    Taken with 70-200 2.8


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    i went along to the F1 grand prix once with the thought of taking photos.......now they really dont stay in place very long
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    Can't comment on Nikon stuff, but a lot of the boys over here are using the Sigmas (120-400mm and 150-500mm) with amazing results. I use a 120-400mm myself and I've never had an issue with AF speed and the sharpness is pretty darn good! Depends on the circuit but I find I'm usually shooting at over 300mm and at that length you've got a lovely DOF too. Depends what you want out of it really.

    The only time I've ever wished for a 70-200mm is at night-time practise sessions
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    AF speed aside, would the f2.8 be used at 2.8 at all? 300mm f5.6 is 2 stops but also 50% closer
    that's the way I see it

    lots of 400-500mm users there so I wonder if 200mm will cut it.

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    Well the 70-200 would be more versatile, with the 2.8 you could use it for a whole host of other events indoors and outdoors. But if you specifically just want to shoot motorsport with it then something around the 100-400mm range is kind of standard.

    You could also do the whole 70-200 with an 2x extender...

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    For motorsport, 200mm is going to be pretty short at most tracks unless you have good access. You can add the TC1.4x to get you up to 280mm/4 or a TC2x to get you to 400mm/5.6 however the 2x will slow focus speed down somewhat. Nikon also have the 1.7Xtc which would see you with 340mm/4.8.

    All of the 70-200/2.8 options with any of the normal TC's will get you virtually the same focal length or better and no worse max f/stop than the 70-300, but focus speed and cost will be the deciding factors.
    I might make a video to show the difference in focus speed with and without TC's..

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    I currently have both the 70-200 and 70-300, it's just what to carry. Don't own any TCs. It is a crop body and I'll have OK access. I guess I"ll also have a monopod, a normal 17-50 on 2nd body, I've read you need a flash when up close with the drivers to get light into their helmets (not while they're driving!). All sounding like a lotta gear!

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    If you're shooting from the outside fence, the crowd or grandstands etc, a 200 will be too short in my opinion. (I have a Nikon 80-200 f2.8 on D200 - crop sensor)

    It is great however if you are trackside, (inside) in a prime photography spot!

    Again it depends on the shots you want too. You mentioned something for in the pits. I know a lot of people who use a 24-70 or even a fisheye for the more unusual effect.
    Attitude is everything!

    Cheers, Paul

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    Id be looking at bigger picture here too

    Most serious photographers have a 70-200 2.8 in their bag of tricks by choice for event, portrait, wedding, sport, etc etc etc you name it.

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    If you've got two bodies something along the lines of a 24-70mm on one then 70-xxx on the other would be perfect. if you've got a 70-300 then that would be heaps more useful than the 70-200 as you will not need f2.8 in broad daylight unless you want to completely freeze car, wheels, tyres etc.

    I'm not sure you'll be able to get anywhere near the pits at an F1 race though, unless you've got the relevant media pass.

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